Tips for a Bed Bug-Free Holiday

The holiday season is fast approaching! With many people traveling and visiting new places during this time, it's important to understand how to check for bed bugs and prevent them from coming home with you.

Regardless of what type of lodging you choose–hotel, motel, cabin, or other type of rental–no place is immune to bed bug introductions or infestations. Follow these tips for a bed bug-free holiday.

When settling into your room

  • Before putting your luggage down on the bed, couch, or floor, do a quick bed bug check. You can either leave the luggage in the hall or place it in the bathtub, where bed bugs are not likely to be.
  • Thoroughly inspect the bed, nightstand, upholstered furniture, and closets. You can use a flashlight or a phone light to help you look for bed bugs, shed skins, or fecal spots. Look along mattress seams, under covers, around the box spring, behind headboards and picture frames, and along baseboards.
  • Watch this video to learn how to do a bed bug inspection:

After you return home

  • Before bringing luggage inside your home, inspect it for any signs of bed bugs that may have hitched a ride. Store luggage away from the bedroom to prevent potential introductions.
  • Launder all the clothes from your trip on the hottest settings to kill bed bugs or their eggs that may have gone unnoticed. For items that cannot be washed, freezing them for several days will also kill all stages of bed bugs.

To learn more about bed bug identification and management, see the UC IPM Pest Notes: Bed Bugs. Staying home for the holidays? Here are some tips to host a bed bug-free holiday!


By Lauren Fordyce
Author - Urban and Community IPM Educator